|DISMISSED MAKATI MAYOR Jun-jun Binay and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales: Ruling to be appealed|
CITY/MAKATI CITY (PhilsToday) — A pale of gloom has clouded the camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay after the Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) ordered on Friday, October 9, the dismissal and perpetual disqualification from service of suspended Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay in connection with the alleged “overpriced” construction of the Makati City Hall Building II.
The decision, although still appealable before the Office of the Ombudsman, the Court of Appeals and later the Supreme Court, was described by Binay’s camp “expected but not too soon,” adding it is another attempt to discredit him and withdraw his candidacy for president in 2016.
The ruling could result in the disqualification of the young Binay to seek another term as mayor of Makati City and in case this happens, it will be Rep. Mar-Len Abigail Binay Campos of the second district of Makati who would run for mayor as she is concluding her third three-year term as congresswoman.
The Vice President himself and his wife Dr. Elenita Binay, a former mayor of Makati, expressed fears that their detractors could even unjustly put the young Binay behind bars.
Interviewed in Cebu by ABS-CBN, the Vice President said he has been anticipating an unfavorable decision.
“We are expecting continuation ng demolition by perception, eh. Ipa-paaresto tapos ipapakulong. Second part of that, ipapakulong si Mayor Junjun,” said the vice-president.
Binay said it was “ridiculous” that his son received last week a correspondence from the Commission on Audit (COA), directing the suspended mayor to reply within 15 days, while it was impossible for Junjun to produce documents because he had no access since his suspension.
“Nakakatawa dito, bakit naman sina Butch Abad ang tagal-tagal na ilang taon na eh andun pa lang sa imbestigasyon. Si Junjun dismissal na kaagad. Eh ngayon may pending case pa sa Court of Appeals, same case sa Supreme Court. Ayoko naman sabihing mahina ang utak ng Ombudsman pero yun nga sinasabi napaka-elementary ngayon, kahit first year maipapaliwanag ‘yan,” he said.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales explained to reporters the dismissal from the service of the suspended Makati City mayor.
In its 103-page joint decision on 6 docketed complaints, the Ombudsman said “flagrant anomalies were found to have been committed by Binay, Jr. et. al. in the design and construction of the building consisting of 6 phases.”
Morales said that Binay, son of Vice President Jejomar Binay, was dismissed for his dishonesty from service, among others.
Aside from Binay, the Ombudsman also ordered the dismissal from service of his co-respondents, namely: Marjorie De Veyra, Pio Kenneth Dasal, Lorenza Amores, Virginia Hernandez, Line Dela Peña, Mario Badillo, Leonila Querijero, Raydes Pestaño, Nelia Barlis, Cecilio Lim III, Arnel Cadangan, Emerito Magat, Connie Consulta, Ulysses Orienza, Giovanni Condes, Manolito Uyaco, Gerardo San Gabriel, Eleno Mendoza Jr., and Rodel Nayve.
Last March, the Ombudsman suspended Binay over the alleged “overpricing” in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II.
Binay has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and claimed that the allegations against him are just part of a smear campaign against his father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, who is running for president next year.
Atty. Claro Certeza, Binay’s legal counsel, said that they were set to file motion for reconsideration (MR) but they have not yet received the Ombudsman directive at press time.
Carpio-Morales confirmed that Binay may still appeal the ruling, saying his (Binay’s) perpetual disqualification from service was “immediately executory.”
”Merong mga procedure na binibigay depende kung ano ang maggiging…ating appeal. Pwede tayong mag MR, pwede rin tayong umakyat either to the CA (Court of Appeal or to the SC (Supreme Court). Kaya lang kailangang pagaralan ko muna…babasahin ko,” Certeza said.
Asked if Mayor Binay can still file Certificate of Candidacy for 2016 election which scheduled next week, Certeza said “pag’aaralan natin yan at ikokonsulta natin yan sa ating election lawyer, hinahawakan ko dito mga kaso lamang. Ngunit akoy naniniwala na dapat hindi ito maging hadlang kung siya talaga ang hinirang ng tao.”
Joey Salgado, spokesperson of Vice President Jejomar Binay, said the order of the Ombudsman was obvious and coincident with the filing of COCs on Monday, October 12.
Salgado cried foul over what he called “bias and selective justice” and “conspiracy” among the Ombudsman, Senate, and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLAC) to destroy the reputation of the Binay family.
Last March, the Ombudsman suspended Binay over the alleged overpricing in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II. The Court of Appeals, however, issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against its implementation. –
The suspension stems from the plunder and graft complaint filed in July last year by lawyer Renato Bondal, a political rival of the Binays’.
In his complaint, Bondal claimed the construction of the building was overpriced by P 862 million.
Bondal said VP Binay, who was Makati mayor when the building was constructed in 2007, conspired with his son, Junjun, then a city councilor, some former and current Makati officials, and 10 executives of Hilmarc’s Construction Corp. over the building’s construction.
Salgado’s statement in Filipino follows –